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Copy-pastes that don't fit well into any of the other categories.

Macauley - "The Races of Man"

Jagat - Wed, 22 Dec 2004 03:56:07 +0530
Macauley was being discussed on the RISA list. This following passage was just so brazenly Imperial British in spirit, I just had to post it here. Just for its sheer entertainment value. Can you imagine this being spoken in Parliament today? Anywhere?


The search is for the source of the quotation attributed to Lord McCauley, speech in British Parliament, February 2, 1835) noted below:

"I have traveled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such caliber, that I do not think we would ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage, and, therefore, I propose that we replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self-esteem, their native self-culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation" (Lord McCauley, speech in British Parliament, February 2, 1835).

One of the responses is that this quote 'may be spurious'.

While the exact wordings may or may not match the need, the spirit of expression by Lord Macaulay in the following reference stands to substantiate the message in the quote. The source of the quote is :
Title: Southern literary messenger; devoted to every department of literature and the fine arts. / Volume 30, Issue 4

The relevant page of the source quoted is at page 259. The text reads as follows: (The original scanned images of the print page can be seen in the web source marked above).

The Races of Men.

...and rule her teeming myriads by the sword? In whatever direction, then, we turn our eyes, in all the departments of human civilization, have the White Races of Europe maintained their superiority over the Brown Races of Asia. I come now to unfold the great law of historical development, and I hold that there has been something like a regular succession --may I not say a progression, in the order in which the different Races -- the Black, the Brown and the White, have appeared to perform the part assigned them in the great drama of human progress. That the Brown Races preceded the White, that Asia, historically speaking, is older than Europe -- that Babylon and Nineveh were built before Rome and Athens, are truths familiar to all -- that the Black preceded the Brown -- that Africa is, historically speaking, older than Asia -- that Thebes and Memphis were built before Babylon and Nineveh, are truths, perhaps, not so universally recognised. And yet, in the present condition of the historic and monumental proofs, we are bound to consider the Egyptian as the oldest of all human civilizations. This conclusion rests mainly upon the monuments of the Nile, which carry back Egyptian chronology at least 1000 years behind that of any other nation. The great historic drama first opens in the valley of the Nile. Thence it was transferred to Asia, when the great Assyrian, Babylonian and Persian Empires succeeded the old Empires of the Pharaohs; and at length to Europe, when the Macedonian and Roman came to succeed the Asiatic. And since that time the destinies of the world, the destinies of civilization have been in the hands of the White Races.

From that period the history of the World has been, to a remarkable degree, an account of their development, progress and extension. The Black and the Brown sink into the shade, and the White Races fill the foreground of the picture. And nothing in the future sees more certain than that every foot of our globe, where climate does not present an insuperable barrier, is destined to be conquered by them, and wherever they go they carry the Christian religion, and that high culture based upon it. It is a truth which cannot and ought not to be disguised, that the White Races have been, in a peculiar manner, the representatives of Christianity -- look to Christendom, in our own times, and it is not confined almost exclusively to them -- Europe and her Colonies are the stronghold of Christianity -- Asia of Mahommetanism -- Africa of the lowest forms of fetishism. For the last 1500 years Christianity has been decidedly retrograde both in Asia and Africa. It is simply a fact which remains, not to be proved, but to be explained.

Christianity, in the days of the Apostles, was stronger in Asia than it is now. And the same is true of Africa. And yet, religion is, as I have already stated, of Asiatic origin. The Divine founder of the Christian religion, was, humanly speaking, of Asiatic birth and lineage --- but was he not rejected by his own people, spurned, reviled and scoffed at -- nailed to the accursed tree? His religion banished from Asia took root in an alien, but more congenial soil, amidst a nobler and more progressive race, and has become the basis of a civilization, the like of which the world has never before seen. And since that time the religion of Christ, and that high culture which has been reared upon it, have been the sacred and, almost, exclusive deposit of the White Races. And their mission on earth, the highest ever entrusted to human agents, seems to be to preserve and propagate them both. On this point, I do not wish to be misunderstood, I am particularly anxious that I should not be. I believe that the Christian religion was designed for all men. I believe that the time will come when all nations of every tongue, and of every hue, will be regathered into the Christian fold. I believe that the work of redemption is co-extensive with the work of Creation. I believe that "as in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive." All this I believe. But, it must be remembered, that God accomplishes His ends by human means -- and the means by which, in my judgment, the Asiatic, the African and the Indian will be brought into the Christian fold, will be by the propagation and extension of the White Races, carrying with them the Christian religion and European culture, with the untold blessings which follow in their train.

The Greeks, in ancient times, propagated themselves by colonization, the Romans by conquest. From these two sources have originated all the great impulses which have been given to the civilization of the World. In one or the other of these ways have the blood and culture of the superior been diffused among the inferior races. In one or the other of these ways, at the present time, are the Russians spreading themselves over Central Asia, the Celts over Northern Africa, and the Saxons over this Continent and India. I assert, then, in whatever direction we turn our eyes, whether to Asia, Africa, or America, this result is in our own times, as it has been for more than 2000 years, in progress of rapid accomplishment: And as the White Races advance the Dark recede -- witness the Hindoos, and Mongols in Asia, the Moors in Africa. -- the Indians in America. The mission of the White Races upon the earth, seems to have been, as I have said, to civilize and Christianize it. For this the Creator has specially endowed them. He has given them powerful intellects; frames and constitutions wonderfully adapted to the vicissitudes of climate, the extremes of heat and cold. He has made them ambitious, discerning and reckless of danger. Above all, he seems to have implanted in their bosoms an instinct which, in spite of themselves, drives them forward to the fulfilment of their lofty mission. That they are destined to occupy every land, where climate does not erect a barrier, there can be no doubt. It is not reason -- it is destiny, and no philanthropy, no legislation, no missionary zeal can prevent it. The fate of the aborigines of our own Continent is manifest; and if we look to Asia, we find a repetition of the same melancholy tragedy upon a larger scale, and in respect to, perhaps, a nobler people.

Where is now the great Mongolian race of Central Asia -- once the most powerful and warlike of the earth -- whose reign was for centuries the reign of terror, and desolation for the rest of mankind? Time aiid again rushing down in wild array from their mountain fastnesses, have they broken, like ravenous wolves, into the fold of civilized nations. Where are now those innumerable hordes whose tented field resembled a noble city-who, gathering around the standards of Attila, Zengis Kan and Tamerlane, have followed them to conquest and dominion? Their glory is gone, their sceptre is broken, their race is run, their mission ended. They are gradually disappearing before the progress of the European, and the day is not far distant when they will be absorbed as a mere item in the Muscovite dominions. There is, at first view, something melancholy and affecting in this progressive disappearance of the Dark before the White Races. But our consolation is, that it has all been ordained for the best - that it is a part of the Divine scheme, and that it is one of the appointed means by which Providence accomplishes its great work of progress and amelioration upon earth. And thus, in the end, do all things work together for the best, and, perhaps, the highest and loftiest function of history is that it "Asserts Eternal Providence, and justifies the ways of God to men."

In conclusion, permit me to ask you, whether you do not recognise a certain law, a certain order, a certain progression in the succession in which the Races of Men have appeared to perform the part assigned them? From that distant epoch, when human history first unfolds itself to view on the time-worn monuments of the Nile to our own day and generation, do we not discover, from century to century, from Continent to Continent, a gradual, but a certain onward and upward movement? Has not the great tide of human civilization risen on the whole? 1860.]
DharmaChakra - Wed, 22 Dec 2004 07:26:45 +0530
Replace genetic race with cultural memes and it may not be so far from the truth... becomes rather forward thinking, no? wink.gif
Jagat - Thu, 23 Dec 2004 19:04:42 +0530
A response to the above by Konrad Elst.

Macaulay's speeches most relevant to cultural policy in India and to "macaulayism" are his speech in Parliament on the Government of India Act on 10 July 1833 and the "Minute on Indian Education", read out in the Governor-General's council (of which Macaulay was a member 1834-38) in Kolkata on 2 Feb. 1835.

As for the alleged racist text "The races of man", the attentive reader will notice that it mentions the disappearance of "the aboriginals of our continent", distinct from those of Asia and Africa and clearly not referring to Europe, so it was written by an American, not by Macaulay. The revolutionizer of Indian education obviously shared in the racist consensus of his age and milieu, but he was also a believer in progress. So he believed that the brown races, like children, could be educated to become the equals of the whites. In his speech in Parliament, he even envisioned the ultimate granting of self-rule and full independence to the Indians, viz. after their acquisition of modern culture. All in all, I would say he was a paternalistic liberal and essentially benign in his view of India. He sincerely believed he was rendering Indians a service by relieving them of the deadwood of their cultural inheritance.

To be sure, this doesn't mean I agree with his views and his proposed educational policy. His Eurocentrism was excusable for a 19th-century Briton, rather less so for a 21st-century Westerner or "Macaulayite" Indian. Also, modernity didn't need English as medium of education; Japan achieved modernity (though admittedly not democracy pre-1945) without English education. Finally, the newfound enthusiasm for Macaulay among Dalits is a bit misplaced in view of the fact that, as per British pre-Macaulay reports, native education had been making more low-caste people literate than the elitist English education. All the same, I welcome a re-evaluation of the scapegoat Macaulay.

Chanahari - Fri, 24 Dec 2004 19:40:54 +0530
Can you imagine this being spoken in Parliament today? Anywhere?

We have some chance that we will hear similar speeches in Washington DC, US. Maybe more PCishly presented. sad.gif